Monday, June 25, 2012

Infrequent fitness

When my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. this morning, I promptly reset it for an hour later and went back to sleep. Another failed attempt at hitting the gym before work. But with a pretty modest goal to wake up early just once per week, I’ve still got four more chances to get my morning workout in, so I’m not feeling too guilty.

I once shared with you my considerations for joining a health club. I followed through and decided the frequent fitness discount through my health insurance would be just the motivation I needed to stay healthy and justify the expense. (Keep in mind, I'm not chasing kids around like most of my friends, so I actually need the exercise.) Problem: In the last 20 months, I have met my 12-visits-per-month discount requirement exactly one time. (But I’ve been so close many times!)

I’ve found plenty of reasons to not get to the gym three times a week. And most of them are legit. But there’s always a little bit of guilt when I look at that membership payment on my credit card statement each month. Even so, I’m not ready to admit defeat when it comes to the gym.

At work this last week, there was a discussion about what physical activity we would try if we had no fear or physical limitations. (Think about it!) I realized that perhaps my commitment to exercise sometimes fails simply because I haven’t found a health club activity that really excites me. Yet I can watch an Olympic gymnast (can’t wait for London!) or an episode of So You Think You Can Dance and be inspired to do (or make a sad attempt at doing) split leaps across my living room.

Oh well. If and when I need to tighten my budget, the gym membership may be the first thing to go, but it has definitely had value for me too. I’ve met some important goals along the way, learned some new fitness routines and am reminded after every single workout how fantastic it feels to have completed it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I said I would never...

The only way to learn some things is by doing. In my corporate life I think it’s called experiential learning (learning on the job as opposed to going through training, reading about it, etc.) I’ve recently come to the conclusion that 99 percent of learning how to be a parent comes from experiential learning. So it’s no surprise that I have A LOT to learn. But I’ve also made some progress in the last year and a half. Evidence of that can perhaps best be seen by looking back at some of the things I said I would NEVER do as a parent…things in which I’ve done an about face on when faced with reality. For example, before I was a parent I said I would never…

…Use the TV as a babysitter. Yet I’m pretty sure on a recent rainy weekend my son watched no fewer than 3 episodes of Sesame Street…and part of the movie Cars…and probably some HGTV.

…Take a small child on an airplane. But then my entire husband’s side of the family was a plane ride away, and I wanted my son to know daddy’s side of the family. So we’re getting ready to plan our third trip to New York with a baby/toddler in tow.

And, as previously quoted on this very blog, I said I would never…

…Take my child to the crazy, loud, germ infested indoor play area at the mall. But on a rainy weekend when breakfast was done by 8 a.m. and naptime wasn’t until 1:30, I caved. And I’ve caved again since then. And my son loved it. And I was just thankful for something to do with him!
So, I’ve learned to be careful about saying, “I’ll never…” I already stand corrected on at least 100 child rearing topics, not the least of which was breastfeeding, daycare, sleep training, and the list goes on and on.

Yes, I still have a lot to learn. And I’m finally ok with that.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Homes sweet homes

There was a time in my youth when I loved paging through catalogs looking at toys and games—daydreaming that I was the owner of whatever the “it” item was. At some point though, I became less interested in wanting a trampoline and paging through the JC Penney Christmas catalog. Instead, I found myself browsing Sunday ads for home furnishings and looking forward to catalogs from West Elm. Now I shop primarily for towels, rugs, pillows and just about anything for my home—and I love it. But with a small condo and little room (and cash!) to spare, I've taken to dreaming instead of redecorating.

To support these daydreams of mine, I’ve become addicted to HGTV. I’m not much of a do-it-yourselfer like many of my crafty friends, but it certainly provides inspiration. I absolutely love looking at other people’s homes. Not in a creeper way, of course, just in a “someday I want to…” have those countertops, buy that bedroom set, paint a room blue, or whatever fill-in-the-blank applies kind of way.

I’m obviously not the only one because we have model homes galore in this city. I’m a sucker for the Parade of Homes every fall and spring. This month, I’m also hoping to hit the Luxury Home Tour.

If I sound too materialistic, let me assure you that I have no desire for even half of the amenities these million-dollar homes offer. I much prefer a small, cozy place to call home. Just give me a front porch and a few big windows overlooking an idyllic little neighborhood and my daydream is complete!

So what does your dream home look like? Or what HGTV-inspired project would you like to take on? I’m always looking for more ideas to add to my “someday” file.

Actually, as I sit here at my “dining room” table (it’s part of my living room), I feel a nice breeze through the window and am looking around at all the ways I’ve made this place home over the years. I’m pretty content. I like being home.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Anticipation of iPads and other things

Never have I seen an adult be so excited for a FedEx delivery as my husband was a couple of months ago, all because he ordered the new iPad.  Leading up to the delivery of this technological treasure was a bit like waiting for the birth of a child. He talked about it often and delicately planned for its arrival. After tracking it online for over a week, he worked from home the day it was to be delivered since it required a signature. But, just in case he was otherwise engaged when they came, he printed off and signed a FedEx permission slip and taped it to our front door for the delivery guy to leave it outside our door without a signature. That’s anticipation, people. It finally arrived and it seems to be all that he was hoping it would be. And my reaction to it all? I thought it was completely charming in a tech geek sort of way. His anticipation was marked by pure excitement. And while I gave him a hard time about “Paddy’s” arrival, that excitement is fun to see at any age. (And, I have been known to use Paddy every now and then too.)
I wish that all forms of anticipation were as absolute as waiting for an iPad with a tracking number. As a family we’re anticipating some things lately, potentially big things…or possibly nothing at all. I’m excited, anxious, impatient, and a bit stressed out at times. I am so thankful to know that God is always trustworthy, always in control. I’m doing my best to hold on to all things with an open hand, but at the same time, I’m a very human person in a very imperfect world. So my selfish wants, insecurities, and emotions get the best of me at times. That said, if you’re someone who prays, I’d really appreciate your prayers that my entire family would fully, and with excited anticipation, trust in all that God has for us!